The benefits of cashless parking have been amplified by lockdown. Indeed, as we adapt to the ‘new normal’ and social distancing, the case for quick, cashless and touchless payment systems is all the more compelling. Besides which, there appears to be a growing discrepancy between motorists’ behaviours and perceptions.
Some 70% of drivers are less likely to use a car park if it only allows payment by mobile phone, according to an AA survey. And yet the same survey found that two-thirds of the respondents complain that it is a challenge to have the right change for parking.
Take congestion, for example: 30% of inner-city traffic is caused by people looking for a parking space, which pushes up vehicle emissions. With cashless parking, payments can be made in a matter of minutes from the comfort of a car rather than the driver having to struggle with a ticket machine just as the heavens have opened up. If we can speed up the parking process, not only will it improve motorists’ parking experience, but can also help to reduce vehicle emissions.
With connected vehicle technology continuing to evolve, drivers will be able to pay for parking through their dashboard and be directed to free parking spaces across towns and cities. This contributes further to a reduction in traffic and makes parking even more seamless.
Rushing to a meeting and worried it will overrun? Stuck in a queue at a checkout with two minutes left on your parking? One of the main benefits of mobile payment is that motorists are able to extend their parking without having to rush back to the machine and top up. This improves the overall customer experience.
Across the country, pay & display machines are being targeted by opportunist criminals. By removing pay & display machines, councils can save money on the maintenance and operating costs associated such as cash collection and counting.
Earlier this year Chelmsford City Council made the decision to go cashless across all council-owned car parks due to a spate of vandalism and theft of pay & display machines. Motorists in Chelmsford now pay using the MiPermit app or over the phone – removing the need to carry cash or display a ticket on dashboards. With the MiPermit app, there is no need to even register.
Cashless parking payments can also be used to help councils analyse information such as which car parks are being used most. They can then use that data to inform future planning, build more car parks or remove unnecessary cash machines.
MiPermit has more than three million loyal customers in the UK, showing a willingness for society to take the leap to cashless.
Digital transformation can bring huge benefits for residents, visitors, local authorities, and the environment.
Paul Moorby OBE is CEO and founder of Chipside. He will be chairing the Digital Services & Touchless Transactions webinar on 16 July.
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